The Portland beer scene has been documented on film a few different times since its beginnings in the mid 1980’s. The latest documentary, PDX: Brew City, is set to premiere on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at McMenamins Mission Theater.
Eleven years ago on August 1, 2005, former Kiwi and current Portland resident, John Lovegrove, set forth to visit all 22 breweries in the Portland metro area in one day. Lovegrove had an old friend from New Zealand in town and the two were looking for something exciting to do. The two came up with visiting as many breweries as possible in one day. “I just wanted to introduce him to brewpubs and couldn’t decide which ones, so we decided to hit as many as possible. We drove to first four, (probably McMenamins West Linn, Edgefield, and a couple out west, alternating half pints, before ditching the car and continuing by bus,” states Lovegrove.
Then four years later in 2009, Lovegrove challenged himself once again by visiting 34 different breweries all in one day. This time he brought along Thom Roholt whom filmed this experience in a short film called Man vs. Beer.
This fun yet challenging brewery crawl got into Lovegrove’s blood as he once again attempted an even greater feat by visiting 50 breweries all in one day three years later in 2012. So do you think that Lovegrove was satisfied with only 50 breweries when there are many new ones opening each year? Heck no, he upped the ante last summer on August 15, 2015.
For this challenge that took place this past August, Lovegrove recruited local beer writer Brian Yaeger to join in on the beerventure. Luckily for us, Thom Roholt once again documented this daylong adventure visiting 77 Portland area breweries. PDX: Brew City is a documentary exploring the confluence of events that turned the Rose City into the standard bearer in craft brewing. But PDX: Brew City goes farther than just capturing Lovegrove and Yaeger visiting 77 breweries, the film also features interviews with many of the founding fathers in the local brewing industry to our modern day brewers. Some of the featured interviews include Fred Bowman, Dick Ponzi, Brian McMenamin, Art Larrance, Gary Fish, Ben Love and many more.
The planning that goes into the attempt of visiting 77 breweries in a single day has to be excruciating. “At this point I know the routes and opening hours almost by heart. If I had to map out 80 tomorrow I could do it in an hour. Having done 22, 34, 50 and now 77, its second nature. Plus I’m a travel gent by day! We never fell more than 4 minutes behind schedule’” jokes Lovegrove.
For the movie premiere of PDX: Brew City Lovegrove collaborated on a beer with Drew Phillips at McMenamins Crystal Brewery to bring moviegoers Spirit of 77Breweries CDA. So what went into the making of this beer? “It’s actually a fairly standard Mosaic CDA, Maris Otter base and 4 other specialty grains. Columbus hops for bittering and Mosaic for all other additions. But 1.5% of the recipe is made up of a few pounds of grains from F.H. Steinbarts, totaling 77 ingredients, mostly specialty grains,” states Lovegrove. Sounds like just an added enhancement on the film viewing experience on June 12th.
When asked, would you recommend the inexperience to try to accomplish what you and your fellow travelers did on that day? Lovegrove replies, “Yep, anyone that wants to attempt it, give me a call!” Who’s up for the challenge?
Tickets for PDX: Brew City are selling quickly. Already 50% of the tickets have been sold. Admission is $15 that entitles you to a viewing of PDX: Brew City and one glass of the movie inspired beer, Spirit of 77 Breweries CDA. So don’t delay and order your ticket today by clicking here.
Doors will open at 5:30pm for PDX: Brew City and the film will begin at 6:30pm on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at McMenamins Mission Theater. Stay up to date on PDX: Brew City by following its Facebook Event Page and the films website.
McMenamins Mission Theater 1627 NW Glisan Portland, OR 97209
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.